Confidence in your installation and its reliability are important to any contractor, but labor shortages and economic constraints can often make you feel like you have to choose between speed, cost, and quality. Balancing all three can be a challenge, especially when it comes to water heater installations. Water heater supports, in particular, often get cobbled together using leftover jobsite materials or other makeshift methods in hopes that they will keep the unit stable in the long run. While this may be the cheapest solution in the moment, it is not the best choice for your budget or your reputation.
Here, we break down the shortcomings of makeshift water heater supports and share the different reasons you should be using manufactured, tested solutions instead.
Problems With Makeshift Water Heater Accessories
Field-devised water heater stands and platforms offer no engineering data on the stability or longevity of the support and are not designed with code requirements in mind. This can lead to several issues if the manual method fails:
- Project delays and wasted time if the installation fails inspection
- Injury, leaks, or even an explosion hazard if natural gas is involved
- Extra liability to the installer if the method fails during a natural disaster
- Voided warranty if the untested accessories damage the water heater itself
Four Benefits of Manufactured Water Heater Supports
Instead of rigging together a stand, restraint, or platform for a water heater, using engineered solutions can pay off quickly, despite the higher upfront costs.
They provide reliable support.
When you use a manufactured solution, you can have peace of mind that jobs will last long after installation. Engineered water heater products are more reliable because they are made of strong materials, such as heavy-gauge galvanized steel. They come with explicit weight limits, so you can sure they will support the water heater. They may also combine water heater accessories to minimize potential failure points.
They satisfy code requirements.
Using an unapproved product or method could result in a failed inspection, which slows you down and eats up cash. When searching for engineered water heater supports, check the manufacturer’s information to see which specific certifications and code requirements the product satisfies.
Some brands, such as HoldRite, go the extra mile. They might conduct third-party laboratory tests to ensure their solutions exceed code requirements. Or they may even set a higher standard by using a double safety factor when establishing their products’ weight ratings.
They save you time.
Manual methods may seem more economical because you can use what you have on hand to piece together a water heater support, but doing so takes more time than installing a prefabricated, tested solution. And all those extra minutes increase your total labor costs.
Engineered supports come ready to install and may also combine different water heater accessories to make the overall assembly even faster. HoldRite Quick Stand platforms, for example, are preassembled, watertight, and eliminate the need to buy and install a separate drain pan.
They can free up space.
In a small mechanical room, you may find that you need to elevate the water heater to free up extra space. Engineered water heater platforms safely support tank units in these scenarios, as they are specifically designed to accommodate different load capacities. When you are suspending a tank, you want a reliable platform, such as HoldRite’s Quick Stand platform, which is the only engineered and tested water heater platform on the market. You can find options that are compatible with concrete or framed walls and work with different drain fittings.
You can also install water heaters outside to create more space. Water heater sheds are designed to safely protect the unit from the elements while freeing up room inside the building. Sheds often feature front panels for easy service, streamline installation with basic tool assembly, and provide a professional appearance.
For more information, visit www.rwc.com.